I always bring myself home a souvenir from Round Top and Scott’s Antique Market, and usually it’s a little tortoise shell box. I love the richness of color and their tiny little details. Over the years, I’ve gathered a collection which I group together on a marble tray in my living room. 

The antique boxes are covered in real tortoise shell veneer and date back to the 18th and 19th Centuries. Little ivory feet, finials and silver inlay patterns add to their charm. Snuff boxes, card cases and thimble holders are the most common (and least expensive).

One of these days, I am going to treat myself to a tortoise shell tea caddy. These are obviously pricier, but they are works of art. I would love to sprinkle a few of these through some bookcases. 

Sadly, it’s getting difficult to import antique tortoise shell, so the pieces are a little harder to find. Antique shops and shows are good places to hunt, along with my new favorite virtual hunting ground, Live Auctioneers